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Microsoft Office Rebranding

For the first time in over 30 years, Microsoft Office will be no more. At least, the name.

While the functionality of each component – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, for example – will remain the same, the product will be referred to as Microsoft 365. Throughout the coming timeframe, these products as well as some others will absorb the new branding.

However, the price will change.

While Microsoft Office is a one-time, perpetual right-to-use, the new Microsoft 365 is a monthly subscription. This means that if you want to upgrade Office to the latest version, the organization will have to purchase a subscription. There’s no word on what currently active Software Assurance accounts might have to do.

The first graphic below illustrates the current prices of the offerings. This can be used for comparison purposes.

Current Price F3
Plan
E3
Plan
E5
Plan
$430 $96 $432 $684

Annual cost with annual commitment

You can see that price of Plan E3 is roughly the same as the perpetual license – for the first year!

Plan F3 is for an organization’s frontline workers. While this plan does come with the Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, it is not equipped with security tools like Microsoft Defender.

There’s a reason to use Plan F3, even with add-ons, however. We cannot go into the details here, but just contact us for more information.

As far as the current lifecycles, they read like this:

Fixed Lifecycle Policy
Office
Product
(Version)
General
Availability
Date
Mainstream
Support
Through
Extended
Support
Through
2007 1/27/2007 10/9/2012 10/10/2017
2010 7/15/2010 10/13/2015 10/13/2020
2013 1/9/2013 4/10/2018 4/11/2023
2016 9/22/2015 10/13/2020 10/14/2025
2019 9/24/2018 10/10/2023 10/14/2025
 

 

Modern Lifecycle Policy
Office
Product
(Version)
Start
Date
Retirement
Date
2021 10/5/2021 10/13/2026

 

The Fixed Lifecycle Policy in the above graphic means, among other things, that there is:

  • A minimum of five (5) years Mainstream Support; and,
  • An additional period of Extended Support for some products.

The Modern Lifecycle Policy in the above graphic requires that the organization must stay current as per the servicing and system requirements.

Microsoft says it will begin rolling out the change next month. In the meantime, you might want to prepare both your organization’s technical resources as well as the budgets.

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